<%BANNER%>
HIDE
 Table of Contents
 Forage weed control update
 Hay feeding losses
 Judging hay quality
 Peanut quotas for 2002
 Tobacco barn checks
 Tobacco marketing in 2001
 Plant bed maintenance
 Peanut inspections


FLAG IFAS PALMM UF



Agronomy notes
ALL VOLUMES CITATION SEARCH THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066352/00019
 Material Information
Title: Agronomy notes
Uniform Title: Agronomy notes (Gainesville, Fl.)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Creation Date: December 2001
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Crops and soils -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Crop yields -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Agronomy -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
General Note: Description based on: January 1971; title from caption.
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000956365
notis - AER9014
System ID: UF00066352:00019

Table of Contents
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Forage weed control update
        Page 2
    Hay feeding losses
        Page 2
    Judging hay quality
        Page 3
    Peanut quotas for 2002
        Page 3
    Tobacco barn checks
        Page 4
    Tobacco marketing in 2001
        Page 3
    Plant bed maintenance
        Page 4
    Peanut inspections
        Page 4
Full Text






AGRONOMY

,- iN DIVERSITY OF
FLORIDA N
EXTENSION
Ins~iue or Fod aind Agncultura Secn NT


DATES TO REMEMBER
January 23 In-Service Training Cancelled Quincy, FL (see enclosed article)
February 3-5 Southern Agricultural Worker Annual Meeting Orlando



IN THIS ISSUE PAGE


FORAGE
Forage W eed C control U pdate ..................................................... ............................................. 2
H ay Feeding L losses ........................................................................ ...................................... 2
Judging H ay Q quality ...................................................................................... .......................... 3

PEANUT
Peanut Q uotas for 2002 .......................................................................... ........................ 3
P eanut Inspections ......................................................................................... .............. ........... 4

TOBACCO
Tobacco Q uota for 2002 ........................................................................... ........................ 4
Tobacco B arn Checks .................................................................... .......... .......................... 4
Tobacco M marketing in 2002 ........................................................................... .................... 4
Tobacco Plant Bed Maintenance ................................................................... .................... 4

MISCELLANEOUS
In Service Training .................................................................................................................. 4


December 2001


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and
other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining
other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences / University of Florida / Christine Taylor Waddill, Director.









FORAGE WEED CONTROL UPDATE

Imazapic has been a topic of discussion this month, after 2
days of meetings in Raleigh, NC between BASF and weed
scientists from the Southeast. The result: BASF will not
market Oasis (imazapic plus 2,4-D ester) for weed control
in bermudagrass; however, they do plan to market Plateau
(imazapic). BASF thinks that the EPA will grant them a
Section 3 label by the end of 2001, which means in Florida
it could be several months before this product is available.
The use rates for Plateau will be the same as for Oasis, rang-
ing from 4 to 12 oz/A. A nonionic surfactant or methylated
seed oil (preferred) must be added for control.

I looked at several different weed spectrums in evaluating
Plateau this summer. I had very good results with
johnsongrass control, the best results occurring with 6 fl oz/
A applied to johnsongrass 10 to 12 inches tall with control
remaining >90% for over 3 months (similar results were also
seen in Mississippi). We looked at sandbur control and de-
termined that 4 oz/A provided excellent control. A supple-
mental label was created for sandbur control ofbahiagrass
in Florida only with a use rate of 4 oz/A. My research has
shown that it will injure the bahiagrass and a hay cutting
will probably be lost; however, it is the only treatment for
sandbur that we can utilize. Plateau has also proved quite
promising for vaseygrass control. When applied while
vaseygrass is actively growing and is 6 to 10 inches tall,
control was greater than 85 percent after 2 months with rates
of 6 to 10 oz/A. We used Plateau in both a water carrier and
a liquid Nitrogen carrier with no differences detected.

An extension weed scientist in North Carolina reported ex-
cellent control of crabgrass, broadleaf signalgrass, and nut-
sedges using 4 oz/A Plateau. A Mississippi weed specialist
reported that this herbicide will reduce bermudagrass yields.
Data collected in 2000 near Starkville, MS in weed-free
bermudagrass revealed a 32 percent yield loss following a 4
oz/A Oasis application, with losses up to 56 percent with 12
oz/A Oasis, compared to 28 percent yield loss with 3 pt/A
Velpar. It was also reported that Berseem clover is very tol-
erant to Plateau, which would enable grass control to be ac-
complished while in a grass/legume mixture. All scientists
were in agreement that Plateau should not be applied during
transition or in drought stress conditions. It should only be
used on established bermudagrass (full soil coverage) and
should not be used on World Feeder varieties.

Texas and Georgia scientists collected three bermudagrass
yields following Oasis applications. Although first cuttings
after Oasis or Plateau applications were reduced severely,
second and third cuttings were not significantly lower than
the untreated check. Overall yields in both states were re-
duced 10 to 15 percent following application of 4 oz/A
imazapic. Potential users will have to decide the importance
of hay tonnage versus hay purity. If they are striving for


pure bermudagrass hay without contamination, Plateau will
be a herbicide that fits their needs.

JTD

HAY FEEDING LOSSES

This is the time of year when we need to be concerned about
hay feeding losses. This is especially true when feeding large
round bales that have not only been stored outside (where
considerable weathering loss has occurred), but will also be
fed outside on the ground. Feeding losses can occur with
any feeding system; the objective should be to minimize the
loss so that animals can consume most of the hay given to
them.

Most large hay packages are fed on sod whether stored in-
side or outside. Feeding hay on sod offers the advantage of
distributing hay on pasture land rather than concentrating it
along a feed bunk or in a barn. When hay is fed on sod,
livestock are less likely to waste and refuse hay in situations
where they have a solid footing. Dry, well-drained sites
should therefore be chosen for feeding hay outside.

Feeding in only one area allows the selection of a conve-
nient feeding location that is easily accessible and minimizes
the size of the area in which sod is killed. On the other hand,
it causes excessive sod destruction, may create muddy con-
ditions, often results in heavy spring weed pressure, and can
result in soil compaction and/or ruts in the pasture.

Some livestock producers who feed in only one area prefer
to feed on concrete or to haul in large gravel so the hay can
be placed on a solid foundation. Also, some producers feed
the lowest-quality hay first, thus initially causing excessive
hay wastage but providing a foundation for further feeding.

Frequently moving the feeding area allows manure to be
spread more uniformly over the pasture(s) and therefore
improves the soil fertility in bare or thin spots, while reduc-
ing the severity of sod damage (though not necessarily the
total area that sustains it).

When hay is fed on sod, the amount of hay wasted will be
much less when only a one-day hay supply is given, and
when hay is fed in such a manner that all animals have ac-
cess. However, unrestricted animal access to large round
bales or stacks will result in grossly excessive feeding waste.

If substantial quantities of hay must be put out at one time,
erecting a barrier between the hay and the feeding animals
will reduce waste. The barrier can be an electric wire, feed-
ing racks or rings, panels, wagons or gates. Feeding racks
and rings are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Racks
which prevent hay from contacting the ground are particu-
larly effective.









FORAGE WEED CONTROL UPDATE

Imazapic has been a topic of discussion this month, after 2
days of meetings in Raleigh, NC between BASF and weed
scientists from the Southeast. The result: BASF will not
market Oasis (imazapic plus 2,4-D ester) for weed control
in bermudagrass; however, they do plan to market Plateau
(imazapic). BASF thinks that the EPA will grant them a
Section 3 label by the end of 2001, which means in Florida
it could be several months before this product is available.
The use rates for Plateau will be the same as for Oasis, rang-
ing from 4 to 12 oz/A. A nonionic surfactant or methylated
seed oil (preferred) must be added for control.

I looked at several different weed spectrums in evaluating
Plateau this summer. I had very good results with
johnsongrass control, the best results occurring with 6 fl oz/
A applied to johnsongrass 10 to 12 inches tall with control
remaining >90% for over 3 months (similar results were also
seen in Mississippi). We looked at sandbur control and de-
termined that 4 oz/A provided excellent control. A supple-
mental label was created for sandbur control ofbahiagrass
in Florida only with a use rate of 4 oz/A. My research has
shown that it will injure the bahiagrass and a hay cutting
will probably be lost; however, it is the only treatment for
sandbur that we can utilize. Plateau has also proved quite
promising for vaseygrass control. When applied while
vaseygrass is actively growing and is 6 to 10 inches tall,
control was greater than 85 percent after 2 months with rates
of 6 to 10 oz/A. We used Plateau in both a water carrier and
a liquid Nitrogen carrier with no differences detected.

An extension weed scientist in North Carolina reported ex-
cellent control of crabgrass, broadleaf signalgrass, and nut-
sedges using 4 oz/A Plateau. A Mississippi weed specialist
reported that this herbicide will reduce bermudagrass yields.
Data collected in 2000 near Starkville, MS in weed-free
bermudagrass revealed a 32 percent yield loss following a 4
oz/A Oasis application, with losses up to 56 percent with 12
oz/A Oasis, compared to 28 percent yield loss with 3 pt/A
Velpar. It was also reported that Berseem clover is very tol-
erant to Plateau, which would enable grass control to be ac-
complished while in a grass/legume mixture. All scientists
were in agreement that Plateau should not be applied during
transition or in drought stress conditions. It should only be
used on established bermudagrass (full soil coverage) and
should not be used on World Feeder varieties.

Texas and Georgia scientists collected three bermudagrass
yields following Oasis applications. Although first cuttings
after Oasis or Plateau applications were reduced severely,
second and third cuttings were not significantly lower than
the untreated check. Overall yields in both states were re-
duced 10 to 15 percent following application of 4 oz/A
imazapic. Potential users will have to decide the importance
of hay tonnage versus hay purity. If they are striving for


pure bermudagrass hay without contamination, Plateau will
be a herbicide that fits their needs.

JTD

HAY FEEDING LOSSES

This is the time of year when we need to be concerned about
hay feeding losses. This is especially true when feeding large
round bales that have not only been stored outside (where
considerable weathering loss has occurred), but will also be
fed outside on the ground. Feeding losses can occur with
any feeding system; the objective should be to minimize the
loss so that animals can consume most of the hay given to
them.

Most large hay packages are fed on sod whether stored in-
side or outside. Feeding hay on sod offers the advantage of
distributing hay on pasture land rather than concentrating it
along a feed bunk or in a barn. When hay is fed on sod,
livestock are less likely to waste and refuse hay in situations
where they have a solid footing. Dry, well-drained sites
should therefore be chosen for feeding hay outside.

Feeding in only one area allows the selection of a conve-
nient feeding location that is easily accessible and minimizes
the size of the area in which sod is killed. On the other hand,
it causes excessive sod destruction, may create muddy con-
ditions, often results in heavy spring weed pressure, and can
result in soil compaction and/or ruts in the pasture.

Some livestock producers who feed in only one area prefer
to feed on concrete or to haul in large gravel so the hay can
be placed on a solid foundation. Also, some producers feed
the lowest-quality hay first, thus initially causing excessive
hay wastage but providing a foundation for further feeding.

Frequently moving the feeding area allows manure to be
spread more uniformly over the pasture(s) and therefore
improves the soil fertility in bare or thin spots, while reduc-
ing the severity of sod damage (though not necessarily the
total area that sustains it).

When hay is fed on sod, the amount of hay wasted will be
much less when only a one-day hay supply is given, and
when hay is fed in such a manner that all animals have ac-
cess. However, unrestricted animal access to large round
bales or stacks will result in grossly excessive feeding waste.

If substantial quantities of hay must be put out at one time,
erecting a barrier between the hay and the feeding animals
will reduce waste. The barrier can be an electric wire, feed-
ing racks or rings, panels, wagons or gates. Feeding racks
and rings are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Racks
which prevent hay from contacting the ground are particu-
larly effective.








When racks or panels are not used, enough animals are
needed to eat the amount of hay offered in a relatively
short period of time. Waste can be reduced by having at
least one cow for each foot of outside dimension (circum-
ference) of the hay package. (Source: Don Ball et.al. in
Minimizing Losses in Hay Storage and Feeding).

CGC

JUDGING HAY QUALITY

Most of the hay fed to beef cattle in Florida is
bermudagrass, bahia, or some other warm season peren-
nial grass. Alfalfa and other temperate forages are often
purchased and fed to horses. If a laboratory test that gives
protein and digestibility values is not available, one can
get some idea of the feeding value of a hay by "sensory"
examination of the hay.

First determining the plant species in the hay can be help-
ful. Does one species tend to be higher in quality than the
other? If the hay is pure perennial peanut, it is likely to be
more digestible, more palatable, and have a higher protein
content than a hay that is 50 percent peanut and 50 percent
common bermudagrass. Mixed bermudagrass and bahia
may have a nutritional value equal to a pure bermudagrass
hay, but may be discounted by the buyer because of the
difference in color of the two grasses in the hay.

Maturity of the plants at the time they are cut to make hay
is the most important factor in determining hay quality. If
you know when the hay was harvested and when the pre-
vious cutting was made, then you can determine the age
of the hay crop. This can be very helpful with
bermudagrass or bahiagrass hay. Temperate grasses (timo-
thy and others) produce seed heads as they mature; there-
fore, the presence of seed heads in the hay is an indication
of advanced maturity and perhaps lower quality; however,
warm-season grasses do not always produce seed heads
before they are overly mature. Examining the texture of
the hay can be useful in determining maturity. Plant stems
that are soft and pliable indicate young immature plants.
As the plant matures, the stems become more lignified and
therefore stiffness of the stem increases. Are the stems
stiff or even brittle?

Texture of the hay can be an important clue to maturity
and forage quality. Very young immature hay is soft and
pliable and stems are hardly distinguishable from leaves.
Hays can range from very soft to harsh and brittle. Leaf
content and moisture level at baling can also affect tex-
ture.

Leaf content affects hay quality. The higher the leaf con-
tent, the higher the forage quality. Plant species, maturity
at harvest, and handling of the hay that results in leaf loss


affect leafiness of the hay. The producer must be especially
careful when tedding, raking and baling legume hays in or-
der to avoid excessive leaf loss.

Color is the first thing many buyers consider when purchas-
ing hay. Color may or may not be a good indicator of forage
quality. A bright green or light green color indicates that hay
was dried quickly and stored under a cover. A hay crop will
lose color when rained on due to leaching. Mold or fungal
growth may discolor the hay. Prolonged exposure to sun-
light will bleach hay. Baling at a moisture content of 20 per-
cent or greater may result in heating and internal browning
in the hay bale.

Smell the hay. A pleasant odor indicates hay was cured
properly. Moldy, musty odors may occur in hay stored at
moisture contents greater than 15 percent. Such odors may
reduce intake by the animal. A caramelized odor is caused
by heating to temperatures greater than 125F. Heating oc-
curs when hay is baled at too high a moisture content. Is the
hay dusty? Dust usually results from soil being thrown into
the hay as it is raked. Excessive mold or mold spores may
appear as a dust when the hay bale is fed.

Look for weeds. Often weeds do not dry completely and
may cause localized molding. How much weed content is
there in the hay? Does the weed have any nutritional value?
Is it toxic? Coffee senna in a bale of alyceclover hay would
be a serious problem.


Look for trash. Tree leaves, cow dung, plastic, aluminum
cans, sticks and dead snakes are undesirable.

CGC

PEANUT QUOTAS FOR 2002

The USDA has announced that the 2002 peanut poundage
quota will be 1,180,000 short tons, which is the same as it
was in 2001. The quota is set by formula at the level that
will provide peanuts for domestic edible and related uses,
excluding seed. Included in the quota is allowance for the
possibility that 10,500 tons will not be delivered. The price
support for quota peanuts is set by law at $610 per ton. The
price support level for additional peanuts will be announced
by February 15, 2002.

The Farm Bill currently being considered by Congress would
dramatically change the peanut program. Poundage quotas
would be eliminated and price support would be replaced
with a target price and deficiency payment plan. If the pro-
posed legislation is enacted into law, the 2002 poundage quota
and price support announced by the USDA may be altered
or rescinded. Growers that are contemplating lease or pur-
chase arrangements should be aware of the possible changes.

EBW








When racks or panels are not used, enough animals are
needed to eat the amount of hay offered in a relatively
short period of time. Waste can be reduced by having at
least one cow for each foot of outside dimension (circum-
ference) of the hay package. (Source: Don Ball et.al. in
Minimizing Losses in Hay Storage and Feeding).

CGC

JUDGING HAY QUALITY

Most of the hay fed to beef cattle in Florida is
bermudagrass, bahia, or some other warm season peren-
nial grass. Alfalfa and other temperate forages are often
purchased and fed to horses. If a laboratory test that gives
protein and digestibility values is not available, one can
get some idea of the feeding value of a hay by "sensory"
examination of the hay.

First determining the plant species in the hay can be help-
ful. Does one species tend to be higher in quality than the
other? If the hay is pure perennial peanut, it is likely to be
more digestible, more palatable, and have a higher protein
content than a hay that is 50 percent peanut and 50 percent
common bermudagrass. Mixed bermudagrass and bahia
may have a nutritional value equal to a pure bermudagrass
hay, but may be discounted by the buyer because of the
difference in color of the two grasses in the hay.

Maturity of the plants at the time they are cut to make hay
is the most important factor in determining hay quality. If
you know when the hay was harvested and when the pre-
vious cutting was made, then you can determine the age
of the hay crop. This can be very helpful with
bermudagrass or bahiagrass hay. Temperate grasses (timo-
thy and others) produce seed heads as they mature; there-
fore, the presence of seed heads in the hay is an indication
of advanced maturity and perhaps lower quality; however,
warm-season grasses do not always produce seed heads
before they are overly mature. Examining the texture of
the hay can be useful in determining maturity. Plant stems
that are soft and pliable indicate young immature plants.
As the plant matures, the stems become more lignified and
therefore stiffness of the stem increases. Are the stems
stiff or even brittle?

Texture of the hay can be an important clue to maturity
and forage quality. Very young immature hay is soft and
pliable and stems are hardly distinguishable from leaves.
Hays can range from very soft to harsh and brittle. Leaf
content and moisture level at baling can also affect tex-
ture.

Leaf content affects hay quality. The higher the leaf con-
tent, the higher the forage quality. Plant species, maturity
at harvest, and handling of the hay that results in leaf loss


affect leafiness of the hay. The producer must be especially
careful when tedding, raking and baling legume hays in or-
der to avoid excessive leaf loss.

Color is the first thing many buyers consider when purchas-
ing hay. Color may or may not be a good indicator of forage
quality. A bright green or light green color indicates that hay
was dried quickly and stored under a cover. A hay crop will
lose color when rained on due to leaching. Mold or fungal
growth may discolor the hay. Prolonged exposure to sun-
light will bleach hay. Baling at a moisture content of 20 per-
cent or greater may result in heating and internal browning
in the hay bale.

Smell the hay. A pleasant odor indicates hay was cured
properly. Moldy, musty odors may occur in hay stored at
moisture contents greater than 15 percent. Such odors may
reduce intake by the animal. A caramelized odor is caused
by heating to temperatures greater than 125F. Heating oc-
curs when hay is baled at too high a moisture content. Is the
hay dusty? Dust usually results from soil being thrown into
the hay as it is raked. Excessive mold or mold spores may
appear as a dust when the hay bale is fed.

Look for weeds. Often weeds do not dry completely and
may cause localized molding. How much weed content is
there in the hay? Does the weed have any nutritional value?
Is it toxic? Coffee senna in a bale of alyceclover hay would
be a serious problem.


Look for trash. Tree leaves, cow dung, plastic, aluminum
cans, sticks and dead snakes are undesirable.

CGC

PEANUT QUOTAS FOR 2002

The USDA has announced that the 2002 peanut poundage
quota will be 1,180,000 short tons, which is the same as it
was in 2001. The quota is set by formula at the level that
will provide peanuts for domestic edible and related uses,
excluding seed. Included in the quota is allowance for the
possibility that 10,500 tons will not be delivered. The price
support for quota peanuts is set by law at $610 per ton. The
price support level for additional peanuts will be announced
by February 15, 2002.

The Farm Bill currently being considered by Congress would
dramatically change the peanut program. Poundage quotas
would be eliminated and price support would be replaced
with a target price and deficiency payment plan. If the pro-
posed legislation is enacted into law, the 2002 poundage quota
and price support announced by the USDA may be altered
or rescinded. Growers that are contemplating lease or pur-
chase arrangements should be aware of the possible changes.

EBW








PEANUT INSPECTIONS

The USDA's Federal-State Inspection Service has graded
2,072,361 tons of2001 peanuts through December 17. Over
20 percent of the total was placed under loan and most of the
loan peanuts will probably be crushed for oil, which would
result in large losses from the quota portion of peanuts in the
loan program. Under the no-net-cost provisions of the pea-
nut program, growers would have to cover such losses
through assessments on the 2002 crop. Over 90 percent of
the quota peanuts under loan came from the southeastern
region of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. Two states, Texas
and Florida, produced more additional than quota peanuts in
2001.

EBW

TOBACCO QUOTA FOR 2002

The USDA has announced that the 2002 flue-cured tobacco
basic quota will be 582 million pounds, an increase of 6
percent from the 2001 quota. Due to over-marketings in
2001, the effective quota is expected to be about 3.7 percent
above the 2001 effective quota. The quota is determined by
purchase intentions of the domestic cigarette manufacturers,
the export average, a reserve stock adjustment, and a discre-
tionary adjustment by the Secretary of Agriculture. The av-
erage price support for 2002 will be $1.656 per pound, a
decrease of 0.4 cent per pound from 2001. It was also an-
nounced that the no-net-cost assessment for 2002 will be 5
cents per pound, with half paid by the producer and the other
half paid by the purchaser.

EBW

TOBACCO BARN CHECKS

Farmers in some areas experienced tobacco barn fires in 2001
that were attributable to retrofitting. Causes of the fires were
due to placing heat exchangers too close to wood, leaving
construction debris near the heat exchanger, and improper
burner adjustments. Prior to use next season, an inspection
should be made of each barn to be sure that unsafe condi-
tions do not exist. Heat exchangers and single-wall stacks
should be at least 18 inches from wood, although double or


single wall pipes can be closer to the wood. Wood ignites at
about 4500F, and this temperature is often exceeded by the
metal parts of the curing system. Check the burners to be
sure that the fan comes on prior to ignition and remains on
after ignition, so that unburned fuel is removed from furnace
area. In addition to the safety checks, it would be advisable
to have the burner efficiency checked to ensure that maxi-
mum efficiency is being obtained with the system.

EBW

TOBACCO MARKETING IN 2002

It is expected that contracts will be available to Florida to-
bacco growers in 2002 from the same companies that of-
fered contracts in 2001. Almost all of the Florida tobacco
was sold by contract in 2001. The Flue-Cured Tobacco Sta-
bilization Service plans to provide auction facilities at 14
locations, with two of them being at Douglas and Statesboro,
Georgia. Details will probably be explained during district
meetings in February. The operations of other auction ware-
houses in this area not known at this time.

EBW

TOBACCO PLANT BED MAINTENANCE

Establishing a good stand of plants should be the first objec-
tive of the new season. Reasons for poor stands usually in-
clude inadequate soil moisture, excessive temperatures, in-
adequate aeration of beds after fumigation, excessive rates
of fertilizers, misuse of chemicals, and perhaps other rea-
sons. Cold weather may delay germination and/or result in
non-uniform germination. If it is apparent that a poor stand
may be obtained, it may be possible to reseed the beds. Be-
fore re-seeding the beds, try to determine the cause of the
poor stand and correct it in order to obtain good conditions
for rapid germination and early growth of plants. Other
maintenance operations include irrigation as needed, but
being sure not to over-irrigate, which can contribute to dis-
ease problems such as damping-off and blue mold. Beds
should also be inspected on a regular basis to determine if
insect, disease, of other problems are developing.

EBW


AGRONOMIC IN-SERVICE TRAINING CANCELLED
After being cancelled due to the state budget crisis, a number of county agents indicated that perhaps county funds
would enable them to attend. Consequently, the plans are to hold a one-day training session on January 23. Call
David Wright for details. EBW


The use of trade names does not constitute a guarantee or warrant of products named and does not signify approval to the exclusion of similar
products.
Prepared by: J. M. Bennett, Chairman; C. G. Chambliss, Extension Forage Agronomist; J. Tredaway Ducar, Extension Agronomist; and E. B.
Whitty, Extension Agronomist.








When racks or panels are not used, enough animals are
needed to eat the amount of hay offered in a relatively
short period of time. Waste can be reduced by having at
least one cow for each foot of outside dimension (circum-
ference) of the hay package. (Source: Don Ball et.al. in
Minimizing Losses in Hay Storage and Feeding).

CGC

JUDGING HAY QUALITY

Most of the hay fed to beef cattle in Florida is
bermudagrass, bahia, or some other warm season peren-
nial grass. Alfalfa and other temperate forages are often
purchased and fed to horses. If a laboratory test that gives
protein and digestibility values is not available, one can
get some idea of the feeding value of a hay by "sensory"
examination of the hay.

First determining the plant species in the hay can be help-
ful. Does one species tend to be higher in quality than the
other? If the hay is pure perennial peanut, it is likely to be
more digestible, more palatable, and have a higher protein
content than a hay that is 50 percent peanut and 50 percent
common bermudagrass. Mixed bermudagrass and bahia
may have a nutritional value equal to a pure bermudagrass
hay, but may be discounted by the buyer because of the
difference in color of the two grasses in the hay.

Maturity of the plants at the time they are cut to make hay
is the most important factor in determining hay quality. If
you know when the hay was harvested and when the pre-
vious cutting was made, then you can determine the age
of the hay crop. This can be very helpful with
bermudagrass or bahiagrass hay. Temperate grasses (timo-
thy and others) produce seed heads as they mature; there-
fore, the presence of seed heads in the hay is an indication
of advanced maturity and perhaps lower quality; however,
warm-season grasses do not always produce seed heads
before they are overly mature. Examining the texture of
the hay can be useful in determining maturity. Plant stems
that are soft and pliable indicate young immature plants.
As the plant matures, the stems become more lignified and
therefore stiffness of the stem increases. Are the stems
stiff or even brittle?

Texture of the hay can be an important clue to maturity
and forage quality. Very young immature hay is soft and
pliable and stems are hardly distinguishable from leaves.
Hays can range from very soft to harsh and brittle. Leaf
content and moisture level at baling can also affect tex-
ture.

Leaf content affects hay quality. The higher the leaf con-
tent, the higher the forage quality. Plant species, maturity
at harvest, and handling of the hay that results in leaf loss


affect leafiness of the hay. The producer must be especially
careful when tedding, raking and baling legume hays in or-
der to avoid excessive leaf loss.

Color is the first thing many buyers consider when purchas-
ing hay. Color may or may not be a good indicator of forage
quality. A bright green or light green color indicates that hay
was dried quickly and stored under a cover. A hay crop will
lose color when rained on due to leaching. Mold or fungal
growth may discolor the hay. Prolonged exposure to sun-
light will bleach hay. Baling at a moisture content of 20 per-
cent or greater may result in heating and internal browning
in the hay bale.

Smell the hay. A pleasant odor indicates hay was cured
properly. Moldy, musty odors may occur in hay stored at
moisture contents greater than 15 percent. Such odors may
reduce intake by the animal. A caramelized odor is caused
by heating to temperatures greater than 125F. Heating oc-
curs when hay is baled at too high a moisture content. Is the
hay dusty? Dust usually results from soil being thrown into
the hay as it is raked. Excessive mold or mold spores may
appear as a dust when the hay bale is fed.

Look for weeds. Often weeds do not dry completely and
may cause localized molding. How much weed content is
there in the hay? Does the weed have any nutritional value?
Is it toxic? Coffee senna in a bale of alyceclover hay would
be a serious problem.


Look for trash. Tree leaves, cow dung, plastic, aluminum
cans, sticks and dead snakes are undesirable.

CGC

PEANUT QUOTAS FOR 2002

The USDA has announced that the 2002 peanut poundage
quota will be 1,180,000 short tons, which is the same as it
was in 2001. The quota is set by formula at the level that
will provide peanuts for domestic edible and related uses,
excluding seed. Included in the quota is allowance for the
possibility that 10,500 tons will not be delivered. The price
support for quota peanuts is set by law at $610 per ton. The
price support level for additional peanuts will be announced
by February 15, 2002.

The Farm Bill currently being considered by Congress would
dramatically change the peanut program. Poundage quotas
would be eliminated and price support would be replaced
with a target price and deficiency payment plan. If the pro-
posed legislation is enacted into law, the 2002 poundage quota
and price support announced by the USDA may be altered
or rescinded. Growers that are contemplating lease or pur-
chase arrangements should be aware of the possible changes.

EBW








PEANUT INSPECTIONS

The USDA's Federal-State Inspection Service has graded
2,072,361 tons of2001 peanuts through December 17. Over
20 percent of the total was placed under loan and most of the
loan peanuts will probably be crushed for oil, which would
result in large losses from the quota portion of peanuts in the
loan program. Under the no-net-cost provisions of the pea-
nut program, growers would have to cover such losses
through assessments on the 2002 crop. Over 90 percent of
the quota peanuts under loan came from the southeastern
region of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. Two states, Texas
and Florida, produced more additional than quota peanuts in
2001.

EBW

TOBACCO QUOTA FOR 2002

The USDA has announced that the 2002 flue-cured tobacco
basic quota will be 582 million pounds, an increase of 6
percent from the 2001 quota. Due to over-marketings in
2001, the effective quota is expected to be about 3.7 percent
above the 2001 effective quota. The quota is determined by
purchase intentions of the domestic cigarette manufacturers,
the export average, a reserve stock adjustment, and a discre-
tionary adjustment by the Secretary of Agriculture. The av-
erage price support for 2002 will be $1.656 per pound, a
decrease of 0.4 cent per pound from 2001. It was also an-
nounced that the no-net-cost assessment for 2002 will be 5
cents per pound, with half paid by the producer and the other
half paid by the purchaser.

EBW

TOBACCO BARN CHECKS

Farmers in some areas experienced tobacco barn fires in 2001
that were attributable to retrofitting. Causes of the fires were
due to placing heat exchangers too close to wood, leaving
construction debris near the heat exchanger, and improper
burner adjustments. Prior to use next season, an inspection
should be made of each barn to be sure that unsafe condi-
tions do not exist. Heat exchangers and single-wall stacks
should be at least 18 inches from wood, although double or


single wall pipes can be closer to the wood. Wood ignites at
about 4500F, and this temperature is often exceeded by the
metal parts of the curing system. Check the burners to be
sure that the fan comes on prior to ignition and remains on
after ignition, so that unburned fuel is removed from furnace
area. In addition to the safety checks, it would be advisable
to have the burner efficiency checked to ensure that maxi-
mum efficiency is being obtained with the system.

EBW

TOBACCO MARKETING IN 2002

It is expected that contracts will be available to Florida to-
bacco growers in 2002 from the same companies that of-
fered contracts in 2001. Almost all of the Florida tobacco
was sold by contract in 2001. The Flue-Cured Tobacco Sta-
bilization Service plans to provide auction facilities at 14
locations, with two of them being at Douglas and Statesboro,
Georgia. Details will probably be explained during district
meetings in February. The operations of other auction ware-
houses in this area not known at this time.

EBW

TOBACCO PLANT BED MAINTENANCE

Establishing a good stand of plants should be the first objec-
tive of the new season. Reasons for poor stands usually in-
clude inadequate soil moisture, excessive temperatures, in-
adequate aeration of beds after fumigation, excessive rates
of fertilizers, misuse of chemicals, and perhaps other rea-
sons. Cold weather may delay germination and/or result in
non-uniform germination. If it is apparent that a poor stand
may be obtained, it may be possible to reseed the beds. Be-
fore re-seeding the beds, try to determine the cause of the
poor stand and correct it in order to obtain good conditions
for rapid germination and early growth of plants. Other
maintenance operations include irrigation as needed, but
being sure not to over-irrigate, which can contribute to dis-
ease problems such as damping-off and blue mold. Beds
should also be inspected on a regular basis to determine if
insect, disease, of other problems are developing.

EBW


AGRONOMIC IN-SERVICE TRAINING CANCELLED
After being cancelled due to the state budget crisis, a number of county agents indicated that perhaps county funds
would enable them to attend. Consequently, the plans are to hold a one-day training session on January 23. Call
David Wright for details. EBW


The use of trade names does not constitute a guarantee or warrant of products named and does not signify approval to the exclusion of similar
products.
Prepared by: J. M. Bennett, Chairman; C. G. Chambliss, Extension Forage Agronomist; J. Tredaway Ducar, Extension Agronomist; and E. B.
Whitty, Extension Agronomist.








PEANUT INSPECTIONS

The USDA's Federal-State Inspection Service has graded
2,072,361 tons of2001 peanuts through December 17. Over
20 percent of the total was placed under loan and most of the
loan peanuts will probably be crushed for oil, which would
result in large losses from the quota portion of peanuts in the
loan program. Under the no-net-cost provisions of the pea-
nut program, growers would have to cover such losses
through assessments on the 2002 crop. Over 90 percent of
the quota peanuts under loan came from the southeastern
region of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. Two states, Texas
and Florida, produced more additional than quota peanuts in
2001.

EBW

TOBACCO QUOTA FOR 2002

The USDA has announced that the 2002 flue-cured tobacco
basic quota will be 582 million pounds, an increase of 6
percent from the 2001 quota. Due to over-marketings in
2001, the effective quota is expected to be about 3.7 percent
above the 2001 effective quota. The quota is determined by
purchase intentions of the domestic cigarette manufacturers,
the export average, a reserve stock adjustment, and a discre-
tionary adjustment by the Secretary of Agriculture. The av-
erage price support for 2002 will be $1.656 per pound, a
decrease of 0.4 cent per pound from 2001. It was also an-
nounced that the no-net-cost assessment for 2002 will be 5
cents per pound, with half paid by the producer and the other
half paid by the purchaser.

EBW

TOBACCO BARN CHECKS

Farmers in some areas experienced tobacco barn fires in 2001
that were attributable to retrofitting. Causes of the fires were
due to placing heat exchangers too close to wood, leaving
construction debris near the heat exchanger, and improper
burner adjustments. Prior to use next season, an inspection
should be made of each barn to be sure that unsafe condi-
tions do not exist. Heat exchangers and single-wall stacks
should be at least 18 inches from wood, although double or


single wall pipes can be closer to the wood. Wood ignites at
about 4500F, and this temperature is often exceeded by the
metal parts of the curing system. Check the burners to be
sure that the fan comes on prior to ignition and remains on
after ignition, so that unburned fuel is removed from furnace
area. In addition to the safety checks, it would be advisable
to have the burner efficiency checked to ensure that maxi-
mum efficiency is being obtained with the system.

EBW

TOBACCO MARKETING IN 2002

It is expected that contracts will be available to Florida to-
bacco growers in 2002 from the same companies that of-
fered contracts in 2001. Almost all of the Florida tobacco
was sold by contract in 2001. The Flue-Cured Tobacco Sta-
bilization Service plans to provide auction facilities at 14
locations, with two of them being at Douglas and Statesboro,
Georgia. Details will probably be explained during district
meetings in February. The operations of other auction ware-
houses in this area not known at this time.

EBW

TOBACCO PLANT BED MAINTENANCE

Establishing a good stand of plants should be the first objec-
tive of the new season. Reasons for poor stands usually in-
clude inadequate soil moisture, excessive temperatures, in-
adequate aeration of beds after fumigation, excessive rates
of fertilizers, misuse of chemicals, and perhaps other rea-
sons. Cold weather may delay germination and/or result in
non-uniform germination. If it is apparent that a poor stand
may be obtained, it may be possible to reseed the beds. Be-
fore re-seeding the beds, try to determine the cause of the
poor stand and correct it in order to obtain good conditions
for rapid germination and early growth of plants. Other
maintenance operations include irrigation as needed, but
being sure not to over-irrigate, which can contribute to dis-
ease problems such as damping-off and blue mold. Beds
should also be inspected on a regular basis to determine if
insect, disease, of other problems are developing.

EBW


AGRONOMIC IN-SERVICE TRAINING CANCELLED
After being cancelled due to the state budget crisis, a number of county agents indicated that perhaps county funds
would enable them to attend. Consequently, the plans are to hold a one-day training session on January 23. Call
David Wright for details. EBW


The use of trade names does not constitute a guarantee or warrant of products named and does not signify approval to the exclusion of similar
products.
Prepared by: J. M. Bennett, Chairman; C. G. Chambliss, Extension Forage Agronomist; J. Tredaway Ducar, Extension Agronomist; and E. B.
Whitty, Extension Agronomist.